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Signatures of automaticity during practice: Explicit instruction about L1 processing routines can improve L2 grammatical processing.

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JournalApplied Psycholinguistics
DateSubmitted - 7 Mar 2018
DateAccepted/In press - 10 Jul 2018
DateE-pub ahead of print - 11 Dec 2018
DatePublished (current) - 17 Jan 2019
Issue number1
Volume40
Number of pages30
Pages (from-to)205-234
Early online date11/12/18
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

This study examined the extent to which explicit instruction about L1 and L2 processing routines improved the accuracy, speed, and automaticity of learners’ responses during sentence interpretation practice. Fifty-three English-speaking learners of L2 French were assigned to one of the following treatments: (1) a ‘core’ treatment consisting of L2 explicit information (EI) with L2 interpretation practice (L2-only group), (2) the same L2 core + L1 practice with L1 EI (L2+L1 group), or (3) the same L2 core + L1 practice but without L1 EI (L2+L1prac group). Findings indicated that increasing amounts of practice led to more accurate and faster performance only for learners who received L1 EI (L2+L1 group). Coefficient of Variation analyses (Segalowitz & Segalowitz, 1993) indicated knowledge restructuring early on that appeared to lead to gradual automatization over time (Solovyeva and DeKeyser, 2017; Suzuki, 2017). Our findings that EI and practice about L1 processing routines benefited the accuracy, speed, and automaticity of L2 performance have major implications for theories of L2 learning, the role of L1 EI in L2 grammar learning, and L2 pedagogy.  

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